We don’t always get to see behind the curtain. While it’s fascinating to learn about new people and new industries, shadowing someone for a full 24 hours isn’t always possible. So today, we’d like to give you a glimpse of a day in the life of Melissa Kirkeby, AVP/senior loan officer at their downtown Olympia branch.
Kirkeby was hired as OlyFed’s first intern in 2004 during a summer break from college. Upon graduation, she moved up to being a Lead Customer Service Representative and eventually worked every branch position. She became a Loan Officer in 2018 and primarily helps with personal real estate purchases and the bank’s booming construction program. Here’s a look at her day, from start to finish.
Wake up to get some quiet time before the day starts. Pack lunches, start dinner and do dishes. Relax and drink coffee in peace.
Leave to drive both kids to school. “I have a daughter in fourth grade and a son in seventh grade and I love this time to chat with them without any distractions,” she says.
Arrive at work. Review the to-do list from the prior day and start responding to emails.
Daily team huddle, cheers for each other and iron out that day’s plans with her group.
The first loan appointment of the day is for a borrower wanting to build their dream home. “We review the construction process, and loan qualification and I answer questions,” she says. “We have an amazing construction program at OlyFed. We roll construction costs and permanent financing into one convenient package, and we close up-front on permanent financing so there is no need to refinance on home completion or pay additional closing costs. Even better, this also helps manage the risk of interest rates rising in the future. My clients were also happy to hear OlyFed does land loans so they can buy the property they want now and start building next year.”
Networking lunches are not uncommon. “I am active in Olympia Master Builders and Thurston County Realtors Association,” Melissa shares.
“Today I attend training for local realtors and share about OlyFed’s unique mortgage programs. Realtors love hearing that we don’t sell our loans because their clients have the reassurance of knowing we’re going to be there for them for the life of the loan. We also don’t do risk-based pricing with our home loans, which means everyone gets the same advertised rate regardless of credit score.”
Second loan appointment of the day. “I am meeting with a customer about a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) as they want to do some renovations and are even considering an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU),” she explains. “The customer I’m meeting with today is excited to learn OlyFed will finance an ADU on her property. They hope to use it as an income-producing rental and space for their parents to live when they get older.”
Head home to get ready for various sports and kids’ activities. “I try to plan out all dinners so we can always sit down together,” Melissa shares. “Sometimes my husband and kids will get it started so we can eat as a family.”
After work it’s time for family dinner, prepping for the next day, and chauffeuring kids to games and practice.
Tonight is baseball practice for her 13-year-old son. “My daughter and I hang out while he is at practice and work on spelling words to get ready for her quiz on Friday,” she shares.
“One thing I resolved this year is doing things that make future Melissa’s life easier,” she says. “It is usually things like prepping lunches, dinners or laying out my clothes. It just makes the mornings smoother. I finally go to bed so I can get some good rest to attack the next day!”
It’s a long day but Kirkeby says it’s all worthwhile. “I just love OlyFed,” she laughs,
“It is such an amazing place to be. I have developed some amazing relationships with wonderful people in the 17 years that I have been with the bank. Each day is different since each loan is different. It is so much fun to form friendships with our customers, my colleagues and our professional partners in the real estate and construction industries.”
She also appreciates the organization’s commitment to the community. A proud member of the Better Fedder Committee, she and the team help build and sustain their culture of giving. “I love that I am able to get involved with the nonprofits that are important to me. The bank supports hundreds of local organizations both financially and through employee volunteerism. In fact, OlyFed gives back more than 10% of its profits to local charities each year and as an employee, I get two paid days off to volunteer.”
Believe it or not, Kirkeby even finds time for hobbies. She recently took up golf and has participated in several local charity tournaments and loves to cook. Both kids play sports so there are always games on their calendars as well.